In April of 2020 we launched an appeal for money and support to help us to save parts of the burial ground that were deteriorating beyond reasonable hope of saving them in the future. We set out a three year conservation and repair plan and had sufficient funds to employ a conservation architect to ensure that all the work would be carried out to the highest conservation standards.
Inscriptions are delaminating
Rough access has now been improved
The headstones recording the names of the interred are the heart of the cemetery and are under pressure from weather and natural decay. Some of the headstones to the graves are 'delaminating', meaning that the lettering is coming away from the stone slab. In other cases the stone slabs themselves are eroding due to years of rain and weather.
Thanks to donations from the Leche Trust and the Bath World Heritage Enhancement Fund, we have been able recently to undertake specialist repairs to the two rare table tombs at the entrance to the burial ground, and to stabilise the most severe decay to 20 of the other headstones.
Ceiling and walls of the cottage will be restored during 2021
Beyond the vital maintenance of the fabric of the burial ground, we are working hard to better document the people buried here, find out who they were, why they came to Bath, and what happened to their family. This means detailed photography of the headstones, translation and analysis of the texts, researching the genealogy of the people and their families, and producing online and printed materials.
When this is complete we shall be publishing a book, which has been funded by a grant from the Jewish Historical Society for England, but it is likely that we shall need additional funds for the cost of professional and local authority fees and for specialist photography of the headstones and - we hope - use of scientific radar to locate as-yet unidentified graves.